There's so much streaming content out there. So much! Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Quibi, all of HBO's various services. That's not counting more niche platforms like WOW Presents Plus, which brings all things drag straight to your device. And now, telling all of the East Asian queer stories we need right now, there's GagaOOLala.
GagaOOLala actually isn't new. The service was founded in 2016 in Taiwan — in fact one of the co-founders, Jay Lin, helped to start Taiwan's International Queer Film Festival.
"There was a lack of LGBTQ+ content available all year round in Taiwan and the rest of Asia," Lin said in a release — he is the CEO of Portico Media, the company behind GagaOOLala. "A physical film festival happening during a few days was not the solution, we needed something 24/7. The situation in many Asian countries is still dire, in some of them, homosexuality is still considered a crime. We needed to provide easier access to LGBTQ+ stories to let them know they are not alone." Enter this streaming service.
The site, like other streaming platforms, serves as a space to access content that they only serve as distributors for, in addition to original material. And this collection of feature films, short films, and series — animated Japanese fiction genres are included — hail from Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, China, the Philippines, and more. And it's lauded work: The Teacher was a GagaOOLala original film that was nominated for several Golden Horse Awards and took home one — the award show is Taiwan's equivalent to the Oscars. Now, the service will launch globally.
For $6.99, users can watch the films and shows with English or Chinese subtitles with more languages coming soon — a ree version of the service boasts more than 30 films as well. The launch was timed to the one-year anniversary of Taiwan passing marriage equality. The move made the country the first in Asia to do so. In celebration of that anniversary, the streamer will launch Taiwan Equals Love, an original documentary that follows the island's path to allowing same-sex marriages.